2030: Melbourne CBD to Be Car Free

In a little over a decade Melbourne's CBD may be free of cars. According to city planning experts, Hoddle grid may be completely closed off to private vehicles with full priority being given to pedestrians.

The Australian Better Cities forum was told by policymakers and politicians that they can see the city being transformed into a carless grid by the year 2030, as pedestrian congestion continues to be a growing problem in the CBD.

Adrian Pozzo, who is the chief executive of Cbus Property, says by the year 2030 he envisions seeing no cars in Melbourne. He says what he sees is a city where traffic has been shut down. He see a garden that resembles New York's Central Park, with high-rise buildings surrounding it.

The local council has been increasingly concerned with the increased food traffic in the centre of Melbourne. Each day over 840,000 individuals pass through the area. By 2030, this number is likely to increase to over 1.2 million.

The Better Cities forum was told by Arron Wood, who is the deputy mayor, that the city needs to keep looking at innovative solutions to this issue of pedestrian congestion. Otherwise it could risk losing its internationally renowned livability status.

Wood said they view congestion as probably the No. 1. threat to the city's livability.

He said you see people emerging from Southern Cross Station in the morning and literally struggling to fit on the footpaths. They want to use some of the under-utilised road spaces to be much more pedestrian-friendly, since one of the largest real-estate areas are the roads.

In 2015 Richard Foster, a former Melbourne City councillor, proposed having a trial ban for one day on motorbikes and cars in the city. However, other councillors quickly deemed it "unworkable".

Cities like Oslo and Madrid are beginning to work towards having their central districts only accessible to taxis, buses, bikes and pedestrians within the next two years. There are other cities such as Paris that are experimenting with having car-free days.


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